The long anticipated 13 Reasons Why return is tomorrow. Netflix has been receptive to many of the criticisms of the first season, and the results of a study through Northwestern University about the show’s impact. There will be more trigger warnings, resources given, and actors stepping out of character to talk about mental health and the importance of getting help.
Will it be enough? Only time will tell. What new issues will this season bring up? Will it even be as popularly watched as the first one?
The good news is that we are all as prepared as we can be, given the surprise plot twists to come. SAVE (Suicide Awareness Voices of Education) has brought together an international coalition to create a toolkit for parents, educators, and the community. This toolkit is available tomorrow, and we encourage you to check it out.
As always, talk to your kids about what they are watching, feeling, and experiencing. They can handle it. The myth that talking about suicide puts the idea in someone’s head contributes to the stigma and secrecy and literally costs lives.
Know the signs and what to look for. Don’t believe that by virtue of privilege, grades, friends etc that your child couldn’t be suffering. Make sure they know it is safe to come to you about ANYTHING. Practice unconditional love, which is different than unconditional like. Be present in their lives, physically and emotionally. They do need you, even if they act like they don’t.
And don’t be so hard on yourself; there is no such thing as a perfect parent.
Our colleagues at Well Being Trust have also put together support materials and resources.
How to talk to Kids about suicide:
Help for Parents and Educators:
Suicide Brochures: English and Spanish
https://teenlineonline.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/TL-TeenSuicide-brochure-SP-Jan2018-SPANISH.pdf (IN SPANISH)
Information for educators about suicide:
How to talk about suicide and mental illness vocabulary:
LGBTQ youth suicide prevention & crisis intervention: The Trevor Project